500.A15/63: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland ( Gibson ) to the Secretary of State

13. There are indications of disposition to postpone meeting of Preparatory Commission (1) in the hope that some way will be found for overcoming present obstacles to participation of Soviets; (2) to line up delegates for or against discussion naval disarmament. Obviously postponement could [not?] be announced on these grounds and it has been intimated to me that postponement if taken will be based on lateness of our answer and necessity for full previous consultation with our delegates. This line is taken in important article in Journal de Geneva today which states that American representation is one of the factors prompting postponement; that it is believed we will send strong delegation of important public men with the intention of playing a dominant role and that it will be necessary to reach general agreement with American delegation on principal questions before conference can begin.

It has been suggested that we are holding back announcement with the idea of coming in with strong delegation when it is too late for other countries to strengthen their representation.

Believe it is important to announce our delegation as soon as possible in order to preclude our being held publicly responsible for postponement.